A Greener Future for China
By Annalisa Roger, Founder & CEO
Last month, ICANN held its 46th International meetings in Beijing, China. The DotGreen team was committed to exploring the green interests, spreading awareness, and supporting the progress of those who are engaged in sustainability for their people. China has an opportunity to make great strides in global sustainability and health for its own people.
Before my team’s departure, I had been following reports about the record-breaking pollution levels in the air this year. In mid January of this, air quality in Beijing was the worst on record, with a level of pollution 30-45 times above recommended safety levels. The heavy haze forces many to stay indoors at its worst, and the long term high levels of air pollution are linked with premature deaths. The particulate matter is laced with heavy metals so small that they enter the bloodstream with every breath, and accumulate in organs including the brain. I was uncomfortable with the potential health risks for myself and my team associated with visiting Beijing even for a short time. I viewed it as a personal choice each person needed to make individually.
The twenty million residents of Beijing don’t get to make this choice for themselves – they experience the effects of air pollution and water quality as part of their daily lives.
I found, in the week we were in Beijing, the attitudes and concerns of the people echoed sentiments of my own, and of my friends and neighbors back home in the US. The people of China today care about their children’s health and future. The Chinese people are becoming more and more aware that the planet is in danger under modern industrial development; they are caught between the benefits of their rising economic status, and the loss of a naturally healthy lifestyle. They crave innovative technology that will help them achieve this.
This was my first trip to China and my experience there was not what I expected in many ways. There is awareness and the green community and values are growing in China – even the term ‘green’ is recognized and used. The younger people are particularly aware and motivated to create a healthier lifestyle for themselves and their children.
There were many bicyclists, and the pulse in the street was calmer than many other capital cities I have been to. The culture of entrepreneurship is strong and encouraged by the government, so many residents own their own businesses. The Chinese people were warm and welcoming, and those we met have an extremely positive attitude. We also enjoyed their good sense of humor!
Visiting China was an enriching experience for myself and the DotGreen team. We have made new friends, and see there is a possibility for us to support green growth already expanding. I look forward to visiting a greener China in the future.